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So, I wasn’t able to finish my review of “Rocky IV.” Make no mistake, though, I’m not done with the series, and will review them all (including “Creed”) before the inevitable sequel to “Creed” comes out. With that said, “X-Men: First Class.” Let’s review it, and, as always, I encourage you to go watch it so that you can follow along with my review.

STORY

I actually realized at some point while watching this movie that “X-Men” might be the darkest and most morally ambiguous property that Marvel’s ever made. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all doom and gloom, but considering that multiple years (decades, even) of comics haven’t really changed human attitudes towards mutants, and considering that the villain (I’m speaking of future Erik here, not Shaw) is partially going after humans for not being able to accept him, a mutant, it’s hard to say whether Charles or Erik has the ideals that are “right.” But enough of that; I like this aspect, even its subtler touches, like Raven being coerced into switching to Erik’s side because of rejection from her crush. It’s not perfect (why on Earth would the CIA willingly kill an agent? Leaving for dead, I understand, but why kill her?), but thanks to a willingness to tackle big, sometimes unanswerable questions, as well as strong and relateable character development, this part of the movie is brought home quite well.

Story Grade: 90% (A-)

CHARACTERS

Aside from the supporting human characters, who come off as horrible people for the sake of it (Moira doesn’t count, as she’s a major character), this area is done very well and often very emotionally. It all serves the story well, often further enhancing the tragedies of being a mutant, as well as an outcast in general. Not much more to say, so let’s just give it a grade.

Character Grade: 95% (A)

SCRIPT

Well-done.

Script Grade: 90% (A-)

DIRECTION

Matthew Vaughn is a talented guy, and would be my personal favored choice for Bryan Singer’s replacement after he leaves after “X-Men: Apocalypse.” He does a good job here, too, often getting so much emotion out of an actor that you see them as their characters through and through, without fail.

Direction Grade: 95% (A)

ACTING

Like I said, I never found that anyone was underracting or not doing a good job.

Acting Grade: 95% (A)

ACTION

It’s quite impressive, with great visual effects to boot.

Action Grade: 100% (A+)

EXECUTION

It’s good, though I wish they had gotten the characters Erik had on his side that weren’t Raven back in “Days of Future Past.”

Execution Grade: 90% (A-)

FINAL THOUGHTS

The main thing I can say about this movie is that it’s exceptionally solid, with strong emotions, large-scale action, great performances, great direction, a solid story and deep characters.

Final Grade: 93% (A)

Well, thus starts X-Men Week. For the next six days, I’ll be reviewing every released film in the chronology, as well as “The Rogue Cut” of “Days of Future Past.” (The only one I’m not reviewing this week is “Deadpool,” which needs its own review.) See you tomorrow!

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